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Rasputin: The Man, The Mystery
Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin is known as the Siberian Mystic Healer, whose life has been retold numerous of times and almost each time it is told it is retold in a different way. Since Rasputin lived in a civilization not that advanced, little is know of his first forty years of life. So most information on the man are normally from stories families have passed on. Some say he is a holy monk with great powers, on the other hand he may be known as a phony with a false connection to God.
Rasputin was born between 1864 and 1865 in his own home of Pokrovskoe. It is now known as Tiumen’ Oblast. It is located in Siberia on the Toura River. This was a small city located near the Ural Mountains. At the center of the village stood a large white church with a guilded dome, which was a symbol of Russia’s strong religious background.
At the age of eighteen Rasputin went through a religious transition. He eventually went to the monastery at Verkhoture. At this place he became aquatinted to the Khlysty sect. After spending some time at this monastery he did not become a monk. When he came to this monastery he had no intentions of becoming a monk. But this even eventually leads to fame and power for Rasputin.
At the age of nineteen, Rasputin returned to his home in Pokrovskoe. There he fell in love and married Praskovia Fyodorovna. Together the two had three children. They had Dimitri in 1897, Maria in 1898, and Varvara in 1900.
Marriage wasn’t enough to keep Rasputin in one place. He continued to wander to places of religious significance suck as Mt. Athos, Greece, and Jerusalem. He was a self-proclaimed holy man. He had the power to heal the sick and the power to predict the future. His fame grew greatly. Soon people traveled from long distances in search of his well heard about abilities and insight. For Rasputin’s help, people would repay him with food, presents, and money. Rasputin has had no long period of religious or spiritual training. He also had very limited education so he was left illiterate. This made his theatrical abilities become very useful.
One day while Rasputin was plowing in the fields he had a revelation. The story states that a Heavenly Mother touched him. She told him of young Aleksei, the tsarevich and she instructed him to appear at the boy’s side to stop his bleeding. His bleeding was a result of his hemophilia. He made his initial move towards St. Petersburg in1902, when he visited the city of Kazan near the Volga River. After this trip he had a rapidly growing group of disciples and acquaintances in the upper class, and he was known as a man of God.
The City of St. Petersburg
Rasputin arrived in St. Petersburg at a time when church leaders were really vulnerable. They wanted people with religious influence, and who had power over the people. Rasputin was both an ordinary peasant – simple, forceful, and direct – while at the same time he possessed the power to astonish people with his healing powers and his insight into the future. People in the city had different views on the man. One was that he was a very holy man who possessed great powers. The other is that he was just a cynical, and that he used religion to mask his drive for sex, money, and power.
Rasputin had a very active sex life. He was reported to hold orgies in the basement of his house at the same time he lived with his wife around 1900. Later, after Rasputin had a rise to fame he attracted a large crowd of female followers. Many of the pictures of Rasputin are with him surrounded by women. There are reports of Rasputin raping women. These reports are untrue because Rasputin really didn’t have to rape the to get them into bed. All of these activities did not conflict with Rasputin’s religious beliefs. He did not particularly care for the orthodox religion. He was a member of the Khlisti sect. Followers of the Khlisti sect believed that all of the desires of the man should be fulfilled, and man of its members held orgies to fulfill their needs. Some people claim that Rasputin thought that he vitally derived from having sex. There are reports of Rasputin having sex with the tsarina, but the are totally false.
Rasputin arrived in St. Petersburg in 1905 and he was not invited to the czar’s palace until 1907. When Rasputin met the Tsar and the Tsarina, he was needed as a healer for Aleksie to stop one of his bleeding episodes. Nicholas and Alexandra were very secretive about their son’s condition for fear that, if made public; he would never become tsar. Reluctant to invite Rasputin, they finally realized the extent of their son’s infliction and the powerlessness of his doctors. The Tsarevich’s disease, formally know as hemophilia, was common throughout European royalty and was passed on to him by his mother. Upon leaving the palace after curing Aleksie this time, Rasputin warned that the Trarevich and the Romanov dynasty are “irrevocably linked to him.”
It is said that Raputin had a special way with the tsars. The tsar would often give Rasputin input on very important royal decisions. Some think he had some sort of hypnosis over them.
The End of Raputin
There were multiple attempts to kill Rasputin. Once a religious fanatic gutted him and he nearly died. However Rasputin was not invincible. A group of conspirators who included Prince Felix Felixovitch Yussupov finally got to him. The prince invited Rasputin to a party at his home where he was going to show him his beautiful niece. The other conspirators had prepared some chocolate cakes and wine heavily laced with potassium cyanide. Rasputin reluctantly ate a few cakes and complained of a dry throat and guzzled down the wine. At this point Rasputin had had enough potassium cyanide to kill six men. Rasputin said he felt a burning sensation in his stomach and appeared to be sleepy for a few moments, then suddenly became alert and asked the prince to sing a son for him. The nervous prince did so and then ran upstairs to tell his fellow conspirators of that the poison had no effect. He then got a pistol and went downstairs, where Rasputin was looking at a piece of artwork. The prince asked Rasputin to take a closer look, then proceeded to shoot him point blank in the chest. The prince then checked Rasputin’s vital signs that indicated that he was dead. The prince then went and got his friends to show them. When the prince was leaning over Rasputin, he regained conciousness and reached up and grabbed the prince with an enormous grip. The prince finally got away (probably by knifing him). Rasputin then got up and ran out the door where he was shot again. The men then proceeded to tie him up and beat him. They then took him to the Neva River and threw him in. When Rasputin was found the ties around his body were broke, and the autopsy states that he died from drowning.
I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1st. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no noblers in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigory has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one of your family, that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people...I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family.
This letter was written to Tsarina Alexandra on December 7, 1916. Twenty-three days later Rasputin was killed and nineteen months later after Rasputins death the Tsar and his family lay dead.